The documents used in the binoculars and telescopes import business with us are highly important. There are three basic documents you must understand and use correctly: air waybill or bill of lading, commercial invoice, and packing list.
1 – Airwaybill
The air waybill is used for the air shipment which serves as:
- Documentary evidence of the conclusion of a contract of carriage
· Proof of receipt of the goods for shipment
· An invoice for the freight
· A certificate of insurance
· Guide to airline staff for the handling, dispatch, and delivery of the consignment.
The air waybill is usually completed by our freight forwarder. The document consists of three originals and nine copies. The first original is intended for the carrier and is signed by our state-owned export agent; the second original, the consignee’s copy, is signed by our export agent and accompanies the goods; the third original is signed by the carrier and is handed to our export agent as a receipt for the goods after they have been accepted for carriage.
Since it is sent with the air shipment by the same plane, the air waybill is usually associated with the wire transfer advance payment. With air waybill number given, you can track the shipment online.
2 – Bill of lading
A bill of lading is used for the sea shipment. It is:
- A certificate of ownership of the goods.
As such, it must be produced at the port of final destination by the importer (you) in order to claim the goods. As a document of title, the bill of lading is also a negotiable document and you may sell the goods by endorsing or handing over the bill of lading to another authorized party, even while the goods are still at sea. Although negotiable bills of lading are in common use, some countries do not allow them or make it difficult to be used. So, you have to be sure that negotiable B/L is accepted in your country. Otherwise, non-negotiable B/L is issued.
- A contract between the shipper (our export agent and us) and the shipping line which defines in detail the terms for the carriage of goods from the seaport (Guangzhou) to your destination seaport.
- A formally signed receipt for a specified number of packs which is given to our export agent by the shipping line when the shipping line receives the consignment. If the cargo is apparently in good order and properly packed when received by the shipping line, the bill of lading which the shipping line issues, is termed ‘clean’. The ship-owner thus admits full liability for the cargo described in the bill. In most cases, clean bill of lading is required.
Clean bill of lading is usually associated with the letter of credit transaction. With the B/L number or container number given, you can track the shipment online.
3 – Commercial invoice
The commercial invoice indicates the quantity and description of the goods, the loading port, and destination port, the mode of transportation, the country of origin, the price per unit and total cost of the goods. The commercial invoice is provided by our export agent.
4 – Packing list
The packing list indicates the number of packs involved, the contents of each pack and the individual weights and dimensions. This list enables you to check that the correct number of units has been received. Customs authorities can also easily identify a specific pack they wish to inspect. The packing list is provided by our export agent.
Apart from these three documents, to some countries, and depending on the price terms and the packing materials used for the binoculars and telescopes, there are several other documents that are often used:
5 – Proforma Invoice
After receiving a quotation from us, the importer (you) may request a proforma invoice which is a preliminary invoice and is prepared prior to shipment or even before a firm order has been received. The purpose is to enable you to obtain an import license (if required) or a letter of credit. In some countries, a proforma invoice is a required document for customs clearance. The proforma invoice is provided by our export agent.
6 – Fumigation certificate
Fumigation certificate is required as proof that the packing materials e.g. wooden crates, wood, wool etc), have been fumigated or sterilized. Certificates contain details such as the purpose of treatment, articles concerned, temperature range used, chemicals and concentration used etc.
In our case, we often use pallets to bundle the packs of binoculars and we find it’s the best measure taken for protecting binoculars from being out of collimation. We’ll ask Chinese Commodity Inspection Bureau (CCIB) to apply the treatment to the wood pallets to ensure that the pallets used are free of insect or fungus infestation.
Please note that in some countries like Australia, fumigation treatment is not required for air shipment, but required for sea shipment. So, please check with your customs broker or the local customs service.
The fumigation certificate is issued by CCIB and costs USD 90$/shipment.
7 – Certificate of Origin, GSP certificate or Origin (Form A)
In some countries, optical instruments claiming preferential treatment in respect of tariffs require proof of origin. Certificate of origin is provided by CCIB or CCPIT, GSP certificate of origin is provided by CCIB.
8 – Insurance certificate
For air shipment, air waybill serves as insurance certificate; for sea shipment, insurance certificate is issued as evidence of the existence of the marine insurance policy. The marine insurance policy is a contract between the assured and the insurer, and its principal purpose is to define the terms of the agreement between the assured and the insurer.
Based on the CIF price term, insurance certificate is required for customs clearance in some countries.
If you need further information, do not hesitate to contact us via our customer services 24/7